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What is the Future of the High-End Part VI: Can't We All Just Get Along?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I wanted to share the latest installment of this series for Positive Feedback here:

 

Sonic Satori - What is the Future of the High-End Part VI: Can't We All Just Get Along?

 

 

After all, it was in 09 (when I joined Head-Fi) that I started this series, diving head-first

into high end computer audio/desktop/and personal audio!!  

 

After hailing from the wonderfully strange world of high end two-channel, there I was: At RMAF 2009, watching my mentor and

dear friend Harry Pearson address the audience about the "Past, present, and future of the high end".

 

To my surprise, he asked me to get up and speak.  There's a rather embarrassing video of it on youtube

here.  But it was a surprise because he had already floored me by saying he was going

to read from my original essay for his speech, but instead he put me on the spot, and asked me to address 

the crowd!  I was pissed and nervous - but it sort of re-kickstarted this sonic journey for me.  And here we are.

 

I was already a fan of headphones, being a tech house DJ for many years, but a whole new world

of high fidelity through new and curious avenues had entered my world back then, and lit a giant spark in

me that has NEVER burned out thanks to ALL OF YOU HERE!!

 

Since then I've written essays in this series spotlighting Head-Fi and personal audio, such as: 

What is the Future of the High End Part IV

iFi: the New Gateway Audible Drug & Personal Audio Explosion

 

I felt obligated to share my enthusiasm for this hobby with the old guard, whether they liked it or not!!

and when I saw that Steve Guttenberg retweeted the latest of this series this morning, I was PSYCHED.

Steve's always been a great supporter of my efforts, but only when something seems to truly resonate with him

does he share my work in his space - and I'm honored by that.

 

So I hope you guys dig this one!  

And I hope we can get some intriguing discourse flowing here.

post #2 of 4

Great stuff Mike! Really got me thinking about the industry...your articles always get me thinking in that regard..

 

Nice pic with the Beck, Sea Change album :)

 

Keep rocking and spreading your infectious enthusiasm!

post #3 of 4

Wow, I didn't know this sort of discussion was taking place at head-fi. I watched the youtube clip followed by the pf articles... and a few thoughts came to mind, so I'll try to distill it down into a post.

 

I think Mr. Pearson [and you too Mike] were hitting the mark explaining how widespread music has become through portable-digital circulation, and how dealers have to adjust. I can speak from personal experience that the vast majority (over 90%) of my music listening was done through a digital source, DAC, and portable headphones instead of my home station. It is because:

 

[1] This way is much more expedient

I like to hunt for new music and they present themselves in all kinds of formats. Youtube has been a great source of content for years. You will hear mixes you've never come across before, artists you've never heard of before, performances you've never seen before, etc. I'd have to spend a lifetime going through the archives and music stores if I had browsed traditionally.

 

[2] This setup can to carry around

Synergistic to the first point. Unlike home stations, I can lug the music around, I can share the music around, etc.

 

[3] It's cheap[er] and it WORKS!

This builds from the prior two points. Portables cost less than full blown home station and you'll have more leeway to experiment finding gear that'll suit your tastes. As bandwidth and storage restrictions are improved upon, we'll see lossless formats becoming the norm.

 

As a last remark, I honestly don't think there's any real necessity for high-end systems (whatever your definition may be) even for the "1 or 2 percent" prospect. But high quality recordings, originals, and remastered music (key word: "sonic integrity")? Most definitely. I'm well aware of the many downsides of having high fidelity equipment and I can't say the same for the latter--just keeping it real.

 

Cheers.


Edited by Akabeth - 10/6/13 at 7:41pm
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akabeth View Post
 

Wow, I didn't know this sort of discussion was taking place at head-fi. I watched the youtube clip followed by the pf articles... and a few thoughts came to mind, so I'll try to distill it down into a post.

 

I think Mr. Pearson [and you too Mike] were hitting the mark explaining how widespread music has become through portable-digital circulation, and how dealers have to adjust. I can speak from personal experience that the vast majority (over 90%) of my music listening was done through a digital source, DAC, and portable headphones instead of my home station. It is because:

 

[1] This way is much more expedient

I like to hunt for new music and they present themselves in all kinds of formats. Youtube has been a great source of content for years. You will hear mixes you've never come across before, artists you've never heard of before, performances you've never seen before, etc. I'd have to spend a lifetime going through the archives and music stores if I had browsed traditionally.

 

[2] This setup can to carry around

Synergistic to the first point. Unlike home stations, I can lug the music around, I can share the music around, etc.

 

[3] It's cheap[er] and it WORKS!

This builds from the prior two points. Portables cost less than full blown home station and you'll have more leeway to experiment finding gear that'll suit your tastes. As bandwidth and storage restrictions are improved upon, we'll see lossless formats becoming the norm.

 

As a last remark, I honestly don't think there's any real necessity for high-end systems (whatever your definition may be) even for the "1 or 2 percent" prospect. But high quality recordings, originals, and remastered music (key word: "sonic integrity")? Most definitely. I'm well aware of the many downsides of having high fidelity equipment and I can't say the same for the latter--just keeping it real.

 

Cheers.

A fantastic, thought-provoking response @Akabeth!!

And thank you for acknowledging (and for watching the vid for) Hp's outspoken support for the portable fidelity movement!!

We speak about it often, and he loves what you all and Jude have built here at Head-Fi - and I'm NOT just saying that.  Harry

always wanted to help usher in a positive Hi-fi community that would help sustain itself, give back to itself and inform its collective.

 

There are some fantastic people I've met though high end audio.  I have to admit that.  Some of them are like family to me.  But it's

the elitism and bad attitude attached to the word "audiophile" that bothers me, and that community did precisely everything WRONG 

in terms of keeping in touch with the ASPIRING audiophile!  Instead they chose to keep preaching to the choir, the very people they 

already hooked 30 years ago!  And you can't grow a movement that way.

 

Our generation, we grew up taking our music with us.  We didn't wanna wait til we got home.  We don't have enough time for sweet-spot

listening all the time.  The GREAT thing is: Now we don't have to settle for mid-Fi.  Unfortunately, many of the older/ old guard attach the

concept of portable fidelity to iPods alone, or, even worse, MP3.  However, I'm slowly seeing a trend where they're starting to pay attention,

but when they do they don't bother to get a writer who knows this field!  I'm generalizing here, but I read a review in TAS of the AK120 that

disgusted me (how uninformed the writer/reviewer was with regard to personal audio).  I'm not sure if that's going to change anytime soon - 

so I'll keep at it as best I can.

 

And you guys do the same!!  Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

I actually hate posting threads on my articles (oddly the one covering my review of the HRT microStreamer took OFF) as I don't want people

to think I'm flexing or trying to show off or anything.

 

I thoroughly enjoy the discourse!!!!

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HPDJ View Post
 

Great stuff Mike! Really got me thinking about the industry...your articles always get me thinking in that regard..

 

Nice pic with the Beck, Sea Change album :)

 

Keep rocking and spreading your infectious enthusiasm!

Thanks so much @HPDJ !!

 

I greatly appreciate the encouraging words and continued support.

It's readers/supporters like you that keep me going.  I know I'm blessed

to write about music and audio for a living, and I work my A__ OFF at it!!

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